Broken and Thrilled

Story and photos by Christine Stanfield, missionary to Uganda.

My heart is broken. My soul is thrilled. My heart rejoices. My soul feels crushed. All of this happens every Tuesday afternoon as I gather with other volunteers and women in this community. While women come I assess blood pressures, answer questions mamas ask about their pregnancy or other health concerns, hand out Mama Kits, greet their young children and I pray. During the meeting we offer praise and worship, we share God’s Word together and we pray.

Looking at their surroundings it could be assumed the women gathering here have nothing. But when I am with these dear ones, my heart is broken and my soul is thrilled. My heart rejoices even as my soul feels crushed. And just when I think I have seen it all, THIS HAPPENED on Tuesday…

As the opening announcements were being given and ladies straggled into the gathering, one very pregnant mama stopped to talk to the leader. In turn, the leader shared with me that one of the mamas who comes regularly gave birth within the last 48 hours. All was well with the mom and babe until about 24 hours later when the mom wasn’t doing so well. She was transferred to a hospital.

The leader reported she had just been told that mom has nothing with her in the hospital. Her husband is in prison. She has no baby clothes. She has no food for herself and no money to use to meet any of their needs. This is not an uncommon scenario for these women. The leader said the mama who told her of this dire situation wanted to know if they could ask the women gathered to contribute to help the mama in the hospital. I agreed with the leader, “Yes! Let’s give these mamas a chance to be blessed through giving.”

The announcement was made. The ladies stood and prayed together for the mama in the hospital and for her tiny newborn. They prayed earnestly, with sincerity, asking God to intervene and meet that mama, one of their own. My heart was broken but my soul was thrilled! I could almost feel the breath of the Holy Spirit.

And then, they put what they had into the offering cup.

They gave, and not just a little. These precious women collected nearly 40,000 Ugandan shillings (just over the equivalent of U.S. $10)! Amazing! My heart rejoiced in their generosity even as my soul felt crushed with the weight of what they would be going without in their own homes in order to help give life to the mama and newborn in the hospital. I could almost hear the angels rejoicing.

On Tuesday afternoons my heart is broken. My soul is thrilled. My heart rejoices. My soul feels crushed. And I can hardly wait until Tuesday comes again.

ACT: Have you considered becoming part of the great stories told on the MissionCentral blog? Get connected to WGM Mobilization today to find out how you can serve in Uganda or other countries around the world.

 

A Dream Come True

The passion burned inside her and she knew what she must do. She was going to become a nurse. People needed her, and she knew she had to do something about it. Do you ever feel that dream, that burning passion pulling you to serve others? Read more to learn about how Christine Stanfield, missionary to Uganda, took her passion to be a nurse and not only achieved it but also let God multiply it and mold it into something bigger than she first imagined.

Jeff and Christine Stanfield

Last week I renewed my nursing license. We drove across the city to the office of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council. On the way I reminisced through my childhood dream, my dream of being a nurse one day. I wanted to help people.

June of 1981 my dream became a reality. I graduated from nursing school. November of the same year I received my official registration (RN) from the Oregon State Board of Nursing. Hooray! I worked as a hospital nurse for nine years in Oregon, learning much and helping many people. Through nursing I connected people to Jesus. I loved my work.

Little did I know that ten years later I would become a KRN; a registered nurse in Kenya. My dream multiplied. I was Christine Stanfield, RN, KRN. My avenue for helping people multiplied as well. Oh, how I loved teaching nursing students, in Tenwek School of Nursing, how to help people. My students helped more people than I ever could as just one nurse. They connected many people to Jesus. I loved my work.

Imagine my surprise when 21 years later God invited Jeff and me to join Him in what He is doing in Uganda. We moved to Kampala, the capital city, in 2012. For the first year I observed and I listened. I learned much. Then my dream multiplied again. I went through the process to be registered as a nurse in Uganda. Now I am Christine Stanfield, RN, KRN, URN (Uganda Registered Nurse). I don’t work in a hospital and I don’t teach in a nursing school. I still help the people God brings my way.

Sometimes they come to my door. Sometimes I go to where they are playing sports. Once in a while I give advice on medication dosages or clarify medical reports for people unpracticed in reading the medical language. I teach community health lessons, helping people know how to help themselves and others. I take blood pressures and pray with pregnant women as I hand out a maternity delivery kit, called a Mama Kit. I have many opportunities to give spiritual care, connecting people to Jesus. I help people. I love my work.

At a sports tournament (Photo credit: Christine Stanfield)

I had a dream and God multiplied it. I am a nurse. I help people, connecting them to Jesus. I love my work.

ACT: Take time today to write down or think about some of the dreams God has for you. Then sit in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you need to do next. Give these dreams to God, and He will multiply them. God is waiting for you to ask Him. Who knows how many people’s lives you will impact if you let Him guide you.

Discover Your Calling Trips: Q & A

I (Micah Metz, social media and events coordinator) recently sat down with Jared Gleason (director of Mobilization) to ask him some questions about the upcoming Discover Your Calling trips to Mexico and Uganda in July. I tried to ask questions that I thought would give you added confidence as you consider your part on these teams and calm any hidden fears you may have about being stranded on safari surrounded by lions (FYI: these are not hunting trips, so you really don’t need to worry about this).

Photo credit: Bill and Lydia Allshouse

How does funding work for these trips? Do I need to raise money?
Each team member will be given a budget amount that will include all costs for your trip. Usually, team members send letters to family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances, inviting them to participate in cross-cultural missions with them. You can also speak to groups (church, small group, etc.) or do fundraisers with local companies and restaurants.

Who are the missionaries I’ll be working with and what are their ministries?

The Mexico team will work alongside Bill and Lydia Allshouse. Bill and Lydia have served in Mexico for many years and are excited to host teams, especially groups looking to explore how God can use them in missions. The Allshouses are involved in biblical education, pastoral and leadership development, and community transformation ministries.

John and Beth Muehlheisen will host the Uganda team. John and Beth are involved in many ministries, including leadership development, Community Health Empowerment, and business management.

Both the Mexico and Uganda teams will be exposed to several different types of ministries. The goal is to have you experience many ways you can serve in missions.

How big are the teams?
We are looking to have 10 people on each team.

Are the areas I’m going to be in safe?
Safety is a priority for the missionaries who will be hosting these teams. They know their specific areas very well and are in communication with local authorities and the U.S. consulates in their region. Although we do not anticipate any problems, our missionaries will do all that they can to keep team members safe.

What kind of projects will I get to be involved in? What does a normal day look like?
For these teams, our desire is to have you experience several different types of ministries—children/youth, community transformation, education, etc.—to give you an idea of the diversity of missions. The teams will visit these ministries during the day and then spend time in the evenings talking about the different ministries and exploring how team members can use their gifts and skills in missions. Team members will also have a cultural experience.

What other things should I know before I go?
Our team at WGM headquarters is excellent at taking care of teams and working out all of the logistics. We do our best to make your experience as smooth as possible, allowing God to work in and through you in ways you may not expect. Be prepared to be challenged to expand your worldview and to see how you can be a part of what God is doing around the world!

Who is leading the teams?
Both team leaders are members of our Mobilization Team at WGM. Victoria Herring, our executive assistant, is leading the team to Mexico. Kristina Gleason, our volunteer coordinator, will be leading the team to Uganda. They are excited to come alongside their team members to help them see their roles in missions.

The Seeds of UDM

By Jonathan Mayo, Uganda

img_0763Jonathan and Lisa Mayo are missionaries serving in university and education ministries in East, Africa and the ministry continues to expand throughout Africa. Jonathan recently wrote about how the seeds of the University Discipleship Movement have grown over the years and taken root across East Africa. Continue reading to learn how God is using UDM and its mentors and students to positively impact Africa for Christ.

“Shortly after Kennedy Kirui graduated from Kenya Highlands Bible College (now Kenya Highlands University), he arrived in Kampala, Uganda, in the fall of 2002 to continue his education at Kampala International University. Soon after arriving on campus, he realized that there were no Christian groups doing ministry on campus. Kennedy, along with two other students, met together for Bible study and fellowship and to encourage one another in their Christian walks. They met only once a week, attending their own churches on Sundays. As they continued to meet, Kennedy found out that Africa Gospel Church and World Gospel Mission were both in Uganda. Some WGM missionaries began to help lead Bible studies and other activities as called upon.

“As time went on, more students joined the fellowship and other groups began to form. Eventually, the students started United Faith Chapel, a thriving community of believers and a full-fledged, student-led church in Kampala.

“As early as 2005, Kennedy and I began to dream about seeing a university ministry like the one at KIU spread across Africa. This eventually led to the formation of University Discipleship Movement. God’s transforming work did not stop in Kampala; UDM has now grown from KIU to universities throughout East Africa as students at other universities have asked for help in creating their own student-led ministries.

img_1556“The movement’s vision is to see a generation of transformed university students who will take the whole gospel to the whole world. In addition to working with existing Christian groups on university and college campuses, UDM leaders help establish discipleship programs and campus churches at universities where Christian groups do not yet exist. Currently, discipleship ministries are being held on 22 campuses in East Africa with the potential of more universities being reached as financial and personnel needs are met.

“The discipleship movement reaches the less than 5 percent of East African people who are able to attend university. These students are growing closer to Jesus and are being challenged to be change agents for Him in their communities and countries. Many discipleship leaders shared that they see a huge difference in the students who have completed UDM’s programs. Students testify regularly about the transformation that has taken place in their lives.

“In the midst of this amazing work, the University Discipleship Movement is facing obstacles. Spiritual warfare challenges students and leaders in their faith, university administrators are not always open to the ministries’ active role in student life, and financial struggles make it difficult for the movement to expand and acquire necessary resources.

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“Despite these challenges, God is faithfully making a way for the movement to affect transformation among university students and leaders throughout Africa. Grounded in their faith in Jesus and their education, students are being equipped to spur long-lasting spiritual and economic development.”

WGM can help you get involved in the ministry of UDM as it continues to spread throughout Africa. Visit www.wgm.org/udm for more information about how you can help make a difference today!